Khatam un-Nabiyyin' in Tradition
By: Allamah Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi
One often hears Qadiani missionaries asserting that the phrase " Khatam un-Nabiyyin "m has not been interpreted as "the Last Prophet" by the Holy Prophet himself. The fact is that the Holy Prophet himself has explained this phrase in these words.
The First Tradition
And I am Khatam un-Nabiyyin, there is no prophet after myself. The Tradition (Hadith) is this: "Thauban said that the Holy Prophet said: (in a long tradition part of which is that) "there will appear in my Ummah thirty imposters each of them will claim to be a prophet while I am Khatam un-Nabiyyin, there is no prophet after me.
This tradition is found in Abu Dawood Kitabul-Fitan; and another tradition of the same meaning from Abu Huraira in Kitab-ul-Malahim. Both traditions are narrated by Tirmizi also.
The Second Tradition
The Holy Prophet said: "The simile of myself and the other prophets is the simile of a well-built palace in which the place of a brick was left vacant; the sight-seers were roaming around that palace expressing their wonder on its fine construction except the place of that missing brick. Thus, I am that brick and I closed the gap of that place. The construction was completed by me and the messengers of God: were completed by me. So, I am that brick and I am 'Khatam un-Nabiyyin' (the last Prophet)."
This tradition has been recorded in Saheeh Bukhari (Kitab-ul’Manaqib; Bab Khatamun-Nabiyyin) with minor variations in wordings.
It means that after the advent of the Holy Prophet of Islam, the building of Prophethood was complete; there is no vacant place left, so that another Nabi be expected to come and fill that place.
There are four traditions like this one in Saheeh Muslim (Kitabul-Fadhail, Bab Khatamun Nabiyyin) and the last of those traditions has these extra words: "Then I came and I closed the prophets".
The same tradition in the same words is found in Saheeh Tirmizi (Kitab-ul-Manaqib, Bab Fazlin Nabi; and Kitab-ul-Adab, Bab-ul-Amthal).
In Musnad of Abu Dawood Tayalisi this tradition has been narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, and its last words are: "The Prophets have been closed by me".
And these traditions with minor differences in the wordings are found in Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal narrated by Ubai bin Ka'ab, Abu Said Khudri and Abu Huraira.
The Third Tradition
The Holy Prophet said: "Qiyamah will not come till many groups from my Ummah follow the idol-worshippers (commit capital sins like the idol worshippers) and till they worship idols; and surely there will be in my Ummah 30 impostors, every one of them will suppose himself to be a prophet; while I am 'Khatam un-Nabiyyin' (last prophet), there is no prophet after me."
Tirmizi has narrated these traditions from Thauban and Abu Huraira, and the second tradition says: "Till there will be about thirty imposters each of them would claim to be a messenger of Allah".
A. Qadiani missionary wrote to me about this tradition but this prophecy was already fulfilled before Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani. The book 'Al-Bakara' p. 15. says that "If we count all those who claimed Prophethood after the Holy Prophet up to our time, this number has been completed. And it is known to all those who know the history." The writer of this book died in 828 Hijri. Up to this year (i.e., 1390) 562 years have passed since that writing. Do you think that writer was wrong'?"
I wrote to him: "Well, what book is this 'Al Bakara''? Who was its author? This clutching to straws shows how poor your arguments are. Of course, he was wrong, because centuries after him, Nawwab Siddiq Hassan Khan of Bhopal (who died in 1889 A. D.), wrote in his book 'Hujajul-Karamah'.
The prophecy of the Holy Prophet - that there would come 30 Dajjals in this Ummah - is proving correct; and 27 of those Dajjals have already appeared." (page 540).
Remember that this count of 27 was before the claim of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani.
Sometimes, some writers have committed the mistake of counting everyone who claimed prophethood after the Holy Prophet as one of those 30 promised Dajjals. But it is wrong, because in this way we will find hundreds of Dajjal and the number 30 would be exceeded by far.
That is why Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani has written in 'Fat'h-ul•Bari Sharh Saheeh Bukhari (Vol. VI, p455): "It is not the meaning of this tradition to count every person who claimed to be prophet after Muhammad (S); because there were so many of them that they cannot be counted; as mostly such claimants suffer from insanity and•'Sawda.".  But this tradition means only those who get some strength i.e., whose religion becomes accepted and who gets sufficient followers".
Therefore, if we add one more after 1889, the total comes to 28. There are still two more to come.
Then we come to the public declaration of Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), which is given in Al-Iqd-ul-Farid, Vol. IV, p. 75. In this lecture, Imam Ali (a.s.) said about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S): Until Allah honored him (Muhammad) by Ruh-ul-Amin (i.e., Angel Gabriel) and the Bright Light (i.e., Qur'an or Islam) and completed with him the prophets and completed with him the number of the Messengers."
See how the word "completed with him the prophets" has been explained by "completed with him the number of the Messengers".
It should be noted that in the whole Qur'an, the word 'Khatam' has been used only once and that is in this phrase. Also, this phrase; "Khatam un-Nabiyyin" was never used in Arabic language before this verse. It was a new phrase which was used for the first time in the Qur'an in this verse.
And, therefore the only correct way of knowing its real significance is to see how this phrase was interpreted by the Holy Prophet of Islam, because it was revealed to him, and as such no other person can know its meaning better than he. And he himself interpreted in these words: "And I am Khatam un-Nabiyyin there is no prophet after me".
The saying of the Holy Prophet (S) is a proof in itself. But when that saying is the interpretation of the wording of the Holy Qur'an, then it becomes double proof. The question is: Who has more right to understand Qur'an and to interpret the Qur’an than Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S)? Who can explain the meaning of Khatam un-Nabiyyin better than Muhammad (S)?
And who has any right that we should listen to his claims leaving the wording of the Holy Prophet of Islam aside, the Holy Prophet on whom the Qur'an 'was revealed? Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani himself has said: "Nobody can explain the meaning of Ilham (Revelation) better than the person on whom that Ilham was, sent". 
Now we give here some of the other traditions of the Holy Prophet which show that he himself did claim to be the Last Of The Prophets, using other phrases:
The Fourth Tradition
The Holy Prophet said, "Bani Israel, prophets were leading them; when a prophet died another prophet succeeded him. But after me there will be no prophet; there will be Caliphs." (Saheeh Bukhari Kitab-ul-Manaqib).
The Fifth Tradition
The Holy Prophet said: "Verily, the Messengership and the Prophet hood have (now) ended; so there is no messenger after me and no prophet," (Tirmizi Kitab al-:R'u'uya, Babu Dhihab al-Nubuwwah; Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal from Anas bin Malik).
The Sixth Tradition
This tradition is found in Saheeh Bukhari; Saheeh Muslim, (Kitab-ul-Fadhail; Bab Asmain-Nabi); Saheeh Tirmizi, (Kitab-ul-Adab, Bab Asmain•Nabi); Muwatta (Kitab-ul-Asmain-Nabi); Mustadrak of Al-Hakim, (Kitab-al-Tarikh Bab Asmain-Nabi):
The Holy Prophet said: "I am Muhammad; and I am Ahmad; and I am Mahi, the Kufr will be erased by me; and I am Hashir, i.e., after me people will be gathered in Hashr (i.e., after me there will be no prophet; after me there will be only Qiyamah; and I am Aqib after whom there will be no prophet."
The Seventh Tradition
The Holy Prophet said: "God did not send any prophet but He warned His Ummah about Dajjal (But he did not appear among them). And I am the last of the prophets and you are the last of the Ummahs, and he will appear among you anyhow. (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab-ul-Fitan, Bab-u1-Dajjal).
The Eighth Tradition
There is another tradition in Saheeh Muslim, Saheeh Tirmizi and Sunan Ibn Majah which says:
The Holy Prophet said: "I have been given superiority over other prophets by six distinctions- (1) I have been given the ability to utter short sentences covering wide range of meanings; (2) I was helped by fear; (3) The booty of war was made lawful for me; (4) The earth has been made for me Masjid .and a means to c1eanliness; (5.)I have been sent as the Messenger of Allah to the whole world; (6) And the chain of the Prophets was finished by me,"
The Ninth Tradition
Abdur-Rahman bin Jubair said that he heard Abdullah bin Amr bin ‘As saying that one day the Holy Prophet(S) came out of his house in such a manner as he was taking our leave; and he said three times; "I am Muhammad the unlettered prophet." Then he said, "and there is no prophet after me."
The Tenth Tradition
This tradition is found in Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Nasai and Abu Dawood. The Holy Prophet said: "There is no prophethood after me, except the good tidings."
He was asked: "And what are the good tidings, O' Messenger of Allah?" He said "Good dreams", or he said "true dreams". It means that there was no possibility of revelation after the Holy Prophet. The utmost that anybody will be given as a sign from Allah will be through the true dreams.
The Eleventh Tradition
Baihaqi in his Saheeh (Kitab-al-Ru'uya) and Tabarani have narrated that the Holy Prophet said: "There is no Nabi after me and there is no Ummah after my Ummah."
The Twelfth Tradition
The tradition is found in Saheeh Muslim (Kitab-ul-Hajj). The Holy Prophet said "And I am the last of the Prophets and my Masjid is the last of the mosques."
It should be mentioned here that the Qadianis claim that the Holy Prophet said that his Masjid was "the Last Masjid"; while in fact it is not the last of the mosques, because after that millions of mosques been built and are being built every day in the world; likewise when the Holy Prophet said that he was the "the Last Masjid", he meant that there would be prophets coming after him; though according to the Fadhilah he was the Supreme Most Prophet as his Masjid is Superior to all other mosques.
But these people have lost the ability to understand the words of Allah and his Prophet. This tradition has been narrated in Saheeh Muslim, in the chapter where Prophet Muhammad Al-Mustafa (S) has said that there are only three mosques in the world which has superiority over other mosques and the prayers in which is thousand times more rewarding than in other mosques; and it is for this reason that travelling for the purpose of prayers is allowed and lawful to these three mosques only.
Other mosques have no right that a man should travel to pray there leaving the other mosques. First of those mosques is Masjid-ul-Haram, which was built by Prophet Abraham and Prophet Ismael (a.s.); the second mosque is the Masjid-ul-Aqsa which was built by prophet David and Prophet Solomon (a.s.); and the third Mosque is the Masjid of Madina built by the Holy Prophet (S).
The Holy meant that as there is no prophet coming after him there will be no mosque in the world after his mosque which would have more thawab (spiritual reward) and superiority over other mosques. Thus it is the last of the mosques of the prophets and the last mosque to which a man is allowed to travel for the purpose of prayer in it.
This meaning is clear from another tradition where the wording is: "I am the last of the prophets and my mosques are the last of the mosques of the prophets." This Tradition is narrated Daylami ibn Najjar and Bazzar and is recorded in Kanz-ul Ummal.
The Thirteenth Tradition
'Hadith-ul-Manzila' is the saying of the Holy Prophet (S), which he said at the time of his journey to Tabuk. This tradition is correct without any doubt from any quarter, and innumerable traditionalist and historians have recorded it. Some of them are:
Saheeh Bukhari, Vol 3. p.58
Saheeh Muslim, Vol 2, p.323
Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol 1, p.28
Mustadrak, Vol 3, p.109
Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol 1, p.173-182
At the time of that journey, the Holy Prophet (S) has left Imam Ali (a.s.), as his successor in Madina. Imam Ali (a.s.) said "You are leaving me behind among women and children." The Holy Prophet (S) replied: "Are you not pleased that you have the same position with me as Aaroon had with Moses, except that there is no prophet after me."
This also is a great proof from the tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) that there would be no prophet after him.
These and other traditions have been narrated by numerous companions of the Holy Prophet and it proves that the Holy Prophet of Islam on different occasions, in different ways and in different words has made it crystal clear that he was the last of the prophets, and there was no Nabi coming after him, that the chain of Nubuwwah (Prophethood) has been completed, that anybody who claimed to be a Rasul or Nabi after him would be Dajjal and Kazzab (liar).
Can there be any other interpretation or meaning of the words of Qur'an ''Khatam un-Nabiyyin' than this?
Also there is the Declaration of Sahaba just after the death of Holy Prophet that from then on there was no Nabi to come.
The famous collection of the lectures, etc. of Imam Ali (a.s.) known as 'Nahj-ul-Balagha' (which has been published in Egypt with foot notes and explanations of Sheikh Muhammad Abduh) reveals on page 269: Imam Ali (a.s.) said when he was washing the body of Holy Prophet (S): "My father. and mother be your ransom, such a thing has been discontinued with your death which was never discontinued with the death of any other person, (and that thing is) Prophethood, announcement (of Ghaib) and the news of heaven."